Lower Landsborough Valley

Image: Jack Mace | ©

Introduction

Visit the Historic Landsborough Rangers Hut - the only 'tent frame' hut left in New Zealand. There are also hunting opportunities in this area.

Place overview

Activities

  • Hunting

Find things to do and places to stay Landsborough River area

About this place

History and culture

Historic Landsborough Rangers Hut

Today this unique hut is one of the oldest government deer culling huts, and is the only 'tent frame' hut left in New Zealand.

The hut was first used as accommodation for Public Works Department (PWD) workers building the Haast to Makarora road during the 1930s Depression.

Deer culling on the West Coast

Deer were introduced to New Zealand for recreational hunting in the 1850s. By the 1930s deer populations had swelled dramatically and in response, organised government culling began.

Landsborough Rangers Hut. Photo: J Breen.
Landsborough Rangers Hut

These early days of government deer culling are firmly part of New Zealand’s cultural mythology. This period is characterised by the rugged men who worked long hard days in the back country, often in bad weather, and without the aid of tracks, reliable maps, huts, and air transportation. In South Westland culling operations were more difficult due to the rough inaccessible country.

In 1941, in response to the need to provide better living conditions for their hunters,  fourteen of these ex-PWD huts were purchased by the Internal Affairs Department in order to create base camps in the South Westland / Makarora area. Two huts were taken to the Landsborough Flats, and joined together with a porch, becoming what is now known as Landsborough Rangers Hut.

Frank Erceg's record of service.
Frank Erceg's record of service

This hut became associated with some legendary figures from these early culling days, such as Bert Barra and Frank Erceg. The framing in the hut bears witness to its varied history with graffiti dating back to the Depression era, and the golden years of deer culling with the names of deer cullers who stayed there and their annual tallies recorded beside their names. 

Location

The historic hut sits at the north eastern end of the Landsborough River Flats, between Quarry Creek and Parasite Creek.

This hut no longer available for overnight accommodation.

More information about deer culling

Contacts

Awarua / Haast Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 750 0809
Fax:   -
Email:   haastvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Haast Junction
Corner SH6 and Jackson Bay Road
Haast
South Westland
Postal Address:   PO Box 50
Haast 7844
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